The sages tell us that our essential nature is truth, consciousness, and bliss, and that the source of our misery is estrangement from our essential nature.
Although the mind searches unceasingly for ways to end its suffering, old Rishis say, it usually confines its search to the external world and thus finds only more misery. And even when we gain enough wisdom to look within, at first we encounter only scattered or uncontrollable thoughts, feelings, and daydreams.
The sages agree that meditation is the path that leads to absolute reality, but that a scattered mind is sure to cause delays. Mantra, they tell us, is the vehicle by which the mind becomes one-pointed and inward and thus reaches the eternal silence that is the source of bliss.
A mantra is a revealed word, a divine sound that has been received or
experienced by an adept in the state of deep samadhi (spiritual absorption). It is a condensed form of spiritual energy, the sound body of the Divine Being. It can also be thought of as a compact prayer. The yogic scriptures often compare
mantra to a boat or a bridge that an aspirant can take to cross the mire of
delusion created by the external world and reach the center of consciousness
within. Mystics and yogis say that mantra is an eternal friend who accompanies the meditator even after death, lighting the way in the realm where the light of the sun and the moon cannot penetrate. According to the more esoteric literature of the yoga tradition, mantra is the essence of guru shakti, the power of the spiritual master. In other words, the mantra is itself the guru. Mantra, God, guru, and one’s highest self are identical.
The true essence of spiritual power resides in the chanting of mantras. Mantras
when chanted in their original pronunciation creates a divine vibration which
allows our body and mind to tune into a higher spaces of consciousness. As we
chant mantras and heighten our vibration, we automatically experience
purification of body and mind which brings about an overall peaceful state of
being. Through the tool of repeated mantras recitation (japa) we can concentrate and focus the mind to reach realms of mind over matter.
Another aspect of the use of Mantras is known in the Yogic path as Bhakti – Union with God through Love and Devotion. Two forms of practice known as Bhakti yoga are Kirtan and Bhajan. They are both devotional songs, which include mantras, that are offered to the Deities. Some devotees claim this is the highest path, through selfless love and the already connected feeling of oneness with the spirit. Clear is, that Bhakti yoga is another path to self-realization, to have an experience of oneness with everything.